Friday, December 9, 2011

Around the World in a Single Blog, Part I

"Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when they are open."

~Sir James Dewar, Scientist (1877-1925)
2011 Thailand Writers Retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand
I'm no stranger to airplanes. By my best count, I've been on 14 this year, starting with a 17+-hour KLM jaunt from Arctic-like Amsterdam to sun-baked Bangkok on New Year's Day 2011. 

After that, I could hardly stop moving. Rather than settle down in frigid North Europe to write the memoir I started at Wendy Goldman Rohm's inspired Thailand Writers Retreat in Chiang Mai, I flew off to California in February for the Bicycle Club of Irvine Banquet and daunting task of cleaning out my Sunset Beach studio. You'd be amazed how many tschotskes, love letters and can't-part-with miscellany a girl can collect in 29 years!

With Brooke in A'dam
March brought sunshine (and Brooke) to Amsterdam and there was no reason to leave town during glorious tulip season. By May, I was off to South Africa to ride with the rhinos—a feat that cost me three front teeth after a freak accident on the Savannah Wildlife Preserve. Humbled, I flew home toothless from Johannesburg and licked my wounds (and gums) for a few months.

Man meets beast on the Savannah Wildlife Preserve
By October, I had something to smile about: Biking Through the Legends of Colonial Villages based at stunning Hacienda las Trancas in colonial Mexico. Lovingly restored by a North Carolina couple who gave new meaning to "early retirement" when they purchased the 450-year-old presidio in 2003 (after googling "haciendas for sale"), the once crumbling property now resembles one of Mexico's great castles. Visit over Presidents Day Weekend 2012 and enjoy exclusive use of the premises!